Impaired sperm quality if one of the major reasons for involuntary infertility. Studies show that oxidative stress, an imbalance between harmful free radicals and protective antioxidants, causes damage to sperm cells. In a review article that is published in Reproductive Sciences, a group of researchers look closer at different molecular mechanisms and how vitamins C, E, selenium, zinc, and coenzyme Q10 plus other antioxidants protect the vulnerable sperm cells.
Infertility affects around one in seven couples. WHO considers it a global health problem. One of the leading causes is impaired semen quality, and Danish, Norwegian, and German men have lower sperm quality than any other male populations. Impaired sperm quality may be a result of an unhealthy lifestyle with stress, tobacco, stimulants, and hormone-disrupting compounds. On the other hand, scientists from Mexico have found that supplements of zinc, selenium, Q10, and omega-3 have an effect on the number of sperm cells and their quality. Other studies show that zinc and selenium protect sperm cells and are important for testosterone levels.
Folic acid plays a role in tissue growth and fetal development during pregnancy. A new study that was presented at an annual congress for British psychologists in Brighton shows that folic acid supplements may even improve the child’s psychological development. This is vital for the child’s ability to handle his or her own feelings and managing socially.
A team of scientists from Oregon State University in the United States has managed to explain why lack of vitamin E may cause neurological damage to the developing fetus, and why it increases the risk of spontaneous miscarriage. Their study is published in the science journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine and here, the scientists underline how important it is for both women who are pregnant and those plan pregnancy to get enough vitamin E.
- and has a long-term effect on the maturation of a woman’s eggs
It is well established that zinc is important for the maturation of the eggs in the fallopian tube during a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, a new American study has shown that zinc is involved in even earlier stages of the maturation of the eggs. A zinc deficiency therefore reduces the chance of the eggs being fertilized and dividing later on, which they are supposed to during pregnancy. Lack of zinc is rather common and may harm your fertility for several months to come.
It is important for the health of the unborn child that the expecting mother keeps her vitamin D levels high during her entire pregnancy. According to a study from Southampton University, vitamin D supplementation is less effective, if a pregnant woman starts with low levels of vitamin D in the early stage of her pregnancy, has major and sudden weight gain, and gives birth during winter.
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Q10 has a key role in the cellular energy turnover and also serves as an antioxidant that protects the body against oxidative stress. Disruptions in the energy-producing mitochondria in cells and oxidative stress may also be involved in different types of hormone disturbances that affect the thyroid gland, pancreas, sex glands, pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands. In a new review article that is published in Antioxidants, scientists look closer at Q10’s role with particular focus on hyperthyroidism, type 2 diabetes, and poor sperm quality, all of which can be corrected through supplementation.
An international team of researchers has just completed a huge study of the possible link between maternal DNA, selenium deficiency, and preterm labor. Earlier studies have shown that women with low blood selenium have an increased risk of preterm birth and that selenium supplementation may lower that risk. A problem in that respect is that climate changes and soil depletion may increase the risk of selenium deficiencies, especially in Europe.
Lack of selenium, an essential trace element, may cause thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, virus infections, AIDS, infertility, neurological disturbances, and cancer. An estimated one billion people worldwide are selenium-deficient. This is mainly a result of nutrient-depleted soil, which is a real problem in places like Europe. For decades, scientists have been warning about this problem, and a lot suggests that we need more than the officially recommended intake to protect ourselves effectively against disease, according to a review article published in StatPearls.
Selenium has an overlooked role in sperm quality and healthy pregnancies. A team of scientists from Romania has looked closer at blood levels of different selenium-containing antioxidants and found that low levels are significantly correlated with poor sperm quality. The scientists also explain that lack of selenium increases the risk of pregnancy-related complications, miscarriage, and preterm delivery. Both selenium deficiencies and infertility are common problems so selenium supplementation may be worth considering. For decades, Danish farmers have added selenium to animal fodder as a way of improving the fertility and general health of the animals.
Selenium is a trace element that supports over 30 essential selenoproteins, which have numerous functions. For the first time ever, a study of Mexican children reveals that lack of selenium delays the growth of pubic hairs and the development of sex organs in boys. It is a known fact that the agricultural soil in Mexico is low in selenium and that affects the entire food chain. The same is the case in Europe, for which reason farmers for decades have supplemented livestock with selenium as a way of improving fertility and preventing a number of deficiency problems. The big question is to what extent can selenium deficiency problems explain the impaired sperm quality that has been observed among young men? An estimated 500 million to one billon people worldwide get too little selenium from their diet.
Poor sperm quality, which is a bit of a taboo, is one of the main causes of involuntary infertility. Evidence suggests that Western diets can impair sperm quality, whereas the Mediterranean diet does the opposite. Vegan diets are somewhat controversial, according to a review article published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Previous research has shown that supplementation with selenium, zinc, fish oil, and coenzyme Q10 can improve sperm cell quality.
In May 2017, new data linking vitamin D and fertility was presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology (ECE) in Lisbon. The new findings contribute to our understanding of vitamin D’s impact on male testosterone levels and of our knowledge about whether vitamin D supplements may actually improve fertility in both sexes. Involuntary infertility, a widespread problem, may be a result of many factors, but if the reason is a vitamin D deficiency, it is easy to treat with increased exposure to sunlight and the use of supplements to keep vitamin D levels optimal all year round.
Widespread nutrient deficiencies among younger adults can harm their fertility and cause them to age faster
Large population studies of adults and their diet habits often tend to overlook certain groups such as younger adults. A British study therefore took a closer look at eating habits of adults in their twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties. It revealed a widespread lack of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, iodine, zinc, and selenium. Being deficient in these essential nutrients can harm your fertility and increase your risk of different diseases, while speeding up concealed ageing processes such as loss of cognition and bone mass.
Zinc is a trace element that is found in all cells and body fluids. Zinc is essential for normal functioning of around 200 different enzymes that control growth, metabolism, the nervous system, the immune function, and a variety of other functions. Most of our zinc is found in muscle tissue and bone tissue and there is a rather large zinc concentration in the prostate gland and in the choroidal membrane of the eye. Around 11% of our zinc is found in the skin and liver. An adult contains 2-4 grams of zinc. We are only able to absorb 10-30% of the zinc that we get from our diet, and there are several factors that can either increase or decrease zinc absorption.
Once the sperm cell has penetrated the egg cell, sparks fly from zinc atoms in a fascinating fireworks display. This new discovery may help fertility doctors select the most best eggs for in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The discovery also has relevance for all others who wish a successful pregnancy. It all boils down to having adequate zinc stores in the body.